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October 28, 1941


From: The Chief of the Bureau of Ships.
The Fleet, Force, Squadron, Division, and Detachment Commanders.

The Commandants, All Naval Districts.
The Commandants, All Naval Stations.
The Commandants, All Navy Yards.
The Commanding Officers, All Ships in Commission.
SUBJECT: War Damage Reports.
(a) BUSHIPS ltr. C-EF13/A9(374); C-EN2S/A2-11, of August 30, 1941.

     1.   This Bureau is collecting all available information concerning war damage incurred by United States and foreign vessels. This information is to be used to evaluate design criteria, to make modifications that appear desirable in material arrangements or damage control procedure, and particularly in the case of mines and torpedoes to determine the type of firing device being used.

     2.   In the event of war damage to a U.S. naval vessel the Commanding Officer shall, at the earliest possible time thereafter, furnish a damage report direct to the Bureau of Ships with copy to the Chief of Naval Operations. This report should in general cover the information outlined below. It is appreciated that it will not always be possible to give all the details indicated. On the other hand, there may be occasions when more detailed reports could be made and in such cases this should be done. The statements should be accompanied by a brief narrative of the sequence of events. Whenever possible, photographs and diagrammatic sketches showing the extent of damage should be forwarded. Care should be taken properly to identify each photograph and the position from which it was taken.

     3.   List of information to be included in the Commanding Officer's damage report:

     A.     GENERAL (All battle damage)
     1.  Name of ship.
2.  Time and date.
3.  Geographic position and depth of water.
4.  Course and speed (give speed before and after damage)




5.  Drafts, forward and aft, before and after damage. (Approximate)
6.  State of sea.
7.  Weather and visibility.
     1.  Projectile or bomb: Estimated type, weight and diameter

(a) For projectile: Range and relative bearing of enemy ship.

(b) For bomb: Whether horizontal or dive release; altitude of release; angle of dive if dive release.

     3.  Location of impact on ship.
     4.  Path of projectile or bomb through ship.
     5.  Thicknesses of all plating penetrated, or which defeated or deflected the missile.
     6.  Distance from point of first impact to point of detonation.
     7.  Whether detonation was "high order" or "low order"; size of fragments.
     8.  Brief description of damage to structure, instruments, machinery, etc., under following headings: (a) effect of impact, (b) blast effect, (c) splinter effect, including thicknesses of plating penetrated by splinters and distance from detonation, (d) incendiary effects or initiation of subsequent explosions.
     9.  Any noxious or other gases or fumes.
     10.  Action taken to localize effects, such as isolating compartments, shoring bulkheads, correcting heel and trim, etc.
     1.  Type of weapon with estimated weight, or size, and type of firing device (direct, or influence). Examples: (a) Submarine torpedo (21") with proximity firing device, (b) Floating mine (500 pounds), contact firing device.
     1.  Position of center of explosion. Examples: (a) Torpedo struck at Frame 57 about 10 feet below W.L, (or just below bilge keel, etc) (b) "Near-miss" bomb exploded port

- 2 -



side abreast Frame 100 about 40 feet from ship's side, apparently on bottom.
     3.  Any outstanding circumstances or peculiarities of the explosion (fumes, afterburning on surface, etc.).
     4.  Single or multiple explosion, with estimated time intervals.
     5.  Noise (dull, sharp, loud, muffled, etc.)?
     6.  Was flash or flame noticed?
     7.  Smoke, color and amount? (Distinguish between smoke produced directly by explosion and smoke resulting from fire caused by explosion.)
     8.  Was shock effect serious? Give summary of machinery and equipment damaged by shock.
     9.  Was any general flexural vibration of the ship noted? (This refers to the bending of tho shipls hull as a whole as distinct from local vibration of decks, etc. When it occurs it is of low frequency.)
    10.  Give distribution and amount of liquids in tanks and compartments near explosion.
    11.  Dimension of hole in ship's hull with general description.
    12.  Dimensions of area of serious indentation of shipls hull.
    13.  Description of damage inboard of shell plating - destruction or distortion of decks and bulkheads.
    14.  Penetration of structure by fragments, if any.
    15.  Condition of W.T. doors, hatches, etc. in vicinity.
    16.  Extent of immediate flooding.
    17.  Extent of slow flooding uncontrolled by ship's pumps.
    18.  Extent of slow flooding controlled by pumps and estimated rate of pumping.
    19.  Fires started by direct incendiary effect or subsequently as a result of dispersal of fuel oil, gasoline, etc.
    20.  Damage control measures taken to localize damage, correct list or trim, shore bulkheads, etc.
     1.  Estimated depth of explosion.




     2.  If not on steady course, give rudder angle.
     3.  Were engines running at a steady speed?
     4.  Propeller RPM's for each propeller.
     5.  Number of blades on each propeller and any known defects.
     6.  Tide or current; set and drift.
     7.  Months out of dock; extent of fouling.
     8.  Degaussing equipment; current in coils.
     9.  Were paravanes or bow protection gear in use?
    10.  Any unusual events or sounds prior to explosion.
    11.  Any unusually noisy auxiliary machinery in use at the time? Give location in the ship.
    12.  If not acting singly, give position in formation.
    13.  Name of ship.
    14.  Give names of any other ships known to have passed over exact place of explosion. Time and date.
    15.  If position had been swept, give time and nature of sweep
    16.  Has recent minelaying occurred in vicinity?
     4.     Commandants, All Navy Yards
Commanding Officers, All Repair Vessels and Tenders

          In reference (a) the procedure for preparing the repair yard's preliminary and final damage reports was outlined for the case of British vessels. This preliminary report was intended to furnish information which, in the case of U.S. naval vessels, is included in the report outlined in paragraph 3 above. In lieu of a preliminary report by the repair yard it is desired that the repair activity (yard or ship) submit a supplement to the Commanding Officer's report as soon as possible after arrival of the damaged ship. This supplement should contain such additional information regarding damage as becomes available when compartments or tanks are cleared for inspection. It should be correlated with the Commanding Officer's report and should include sketches and photographs to assist in describing the damage. The final report required by reference (a) for British vessels will also be required to be prepared for U.S. vessels by the yard completing the repairs. All reports required herein shall be classified as confidential and shall be forwarded by the fastest practicable means

Copy to:
-4- H.S. Howard
By direction

National Archives & Records Administration, Seattle Branch
Record Group 181, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, General Correspondence 1941-45

Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. Formatting & Comments Copyright R@L.

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